A little while ago, I heard some commentator note that Democrats, as a general rule, oppose giving the people any choice in matters -- unless the matter involves sex. It seemed like a good observation -- they don't think we can choose whether or not to wear seat belts, get health insurance, serve in the military (note that the biggest -- and nearly only -- proponents for reinstating the draft are Democrats), give more money to the government, or a host of other examples. It's only in matters related to sex (gay rights, gay marriage, abortion, etc. etc.) that they are champions of "choice."
I've been thinking about that a lot, tossing it around and bouncing it off walls, and I think I've refined it a smidgen: as a general rule, the Democrats don't want the people to choose -- unless it's in a way that doesn't really matter.
The libertarian in me rebels against this. I want the right to make choices in my life, and I demand the right to be responsible for those decisions. I want my choices about my life to mean something, for good or ill -- because they're MY choices, about MY life.
I've lost count of how many times I've quoted David Gerrold's "A Matter For Men," but he had the best definition of freedom I've ever heard: "the right to be responsible for one's actions." I insist on the right to do as I wish, and demand that I be held responsible for them -- for good or ill.
If I am protected from the consequences of my bad choices (and they are legion), then I have no right to be proud of the good choices I make. Those who would "protect" me from my bad choices are doing me no service -- they are simply trying to give me a more comfortable slave's collar, gild the bars of the cage they put me in to keep me safe.
Keep your collars and cages, people. I demand the right to fail -- because if I can't fail, then any successes are meaningless. They mean nothing unless I earn them -- because anything someone else gives you, then someone else can take away.